GET THE MONEY AND RUN

St. James gets over $26K in Race for Education
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Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski St. James Lutheran School students, from left, Natalie Bystol, Lauren Harkey, Joe Kleinschmidt and Josh Fisken run laps around the track at Shawano Community Middle School with Joe’s baby brother, Luke, in the stroller. The Race for Education fundraiser netted $26,725 for the school.

Students and parents at St. James Lutheran School showed that education can be good for the sole.

The shoe leather was definitely put to the test Friday after it was announced that the school had exceeded its goal in the Race For Education fundraiser. St. James had hoped to raise $25,000, but supporters decided $26,725 was what they needed.

As a result of the fundraiser, students spent the afternoon walking or running laps in the hopes of winning prizes for the most laps. Younger students stayed at St. James for their race while the upper grades traveled to the track at Shawano Community Middle School.

More important than the exercise to benefit the students’ health is the money providing things for the parochial school that are not normally in the budget. In previous years, the Race for Education has been spent for technology, scholarships, curriculum, new lockers and even renovating the gymnasium floor, according to principal Susan Longmire.

“As a parochial school, you can’t put that money in the budget,” Longmire said. “It doesn’t work.”

For the fundraiser, letters are sent to parents, who are asked to reach out to friends and family members to donate whatever monetary amount they wish, Longmire said. There are no magazine subscriptions, rolls of wrapping paper, or boxes of chocolate involved.

“They look forward to it every year. We spend the afternoon walking and running,” Longmire said. “It’s not a hard fundraiser for our parents. They don’t want to buy any wrapping paper or stuff like that, and 100 percent of it goes back to the school.”

Parents donate all of the rewards and funding for the school carnival in two weeks so that the money goes toward the essentials. Longmire said some of the money might go toward school safety unless it gets a grant from the state. She noted that some of the money will be spent on a new bell system, which just recently died after being in service since the 1950s.

“Let’s just say everybody’s a little late,” Longmire said.

Some of the money will go toward the school’s athletics and booster clubs, and the remainder will go toward curriculum and more technology as the school strives to complete its one-to-one technology initiative.

“We do spend it all,” Longmire said.

Parent participation in the laps around the schools has increased, according to Longmire. Grandparents are also getting involved, and many family members came out to watch the students walk and run.

“We only have three weeks of school, so they’re all wound up,” Longmire said.